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Posts Tagged ‘The Razor’s Edge’

The Eye of the Storm

January 22, 2013 | by

Alan Shenker, an artist known among the underground cartoonists of the late sixties as Yossarian, died last week, in New York, at the age of sixty-seven. Born in Levittown, he was a downtown habitué and his work was published in the East Village Other, among many other publications of the era.

A kind of ruthless patricide was implicit in Yossarian’s cover art for the February 1972 issue of the New York ACE. He was close to “the Arab,” as the East Village Other’s editor, Yaakov Kohn, was known, and now Yossarian was one of the defectors from the already tottering EVO to the new paper which I’d cofounded with Robert “Honest Bob” Singer. Read More »


Larry David Humor; Fairies and Mushrooms

July 22, 2011 | by

I'm a huge Curb Your Enthusiasm fan and totally addicted to Larry David’s brand of car-wreck-that-I-can't-stop-watching humor. I was wondering: can you think of a book that induces the same cringe-worthy yet high-inducing experience? —Hannah, NYC

That, Hannah, I can tell you in two words: After Claude. While I can’t pretend Iris Owens’s 1973 novel of a humilating New York summer is great all the way through, the first two-thirds are so great, and so cringe-inducing that I’d be remiss not to bring it up. And given that it takes place during a particularly blistering heatwave, anyone on the eastern seaboard will be able to relate all too well.


Do you believe that when a circle of mushrooms spring up around a tree, it’s proof that a fairy lived and died there? —Kim


I broke up with my boyfriend and he told me I was never going to love anybody because I’m Blanche Dubois (!). I’m really upset, but primarily because he meant it to be insulting. I can’t help but identify with a desire for incessant fantasy—does that make me a bad person? Or more pointedly, which character can I accuse him of being? —NOT Stella

Well, without knowing the specifics of the case, it’s hard to know what would be especially apt (or, for that matter, especially cutting). I know one friend who was really insulted to be compared to The Razor’s Edge’s Elliott Templeton. I once called someone an Ellsworth Toohey, which has the added sting of invoking Ayn Rand. But as to all-purpose digs? Well, I can’t imagine anyone would be thrilled to be likened to Uriah Heep.

As to your other question: craving escape through fantasy certainly doesn’t make you a bad person, just human. And if you have a tendency to retreat too much from reality, well, being aware of it is probably a good sign, no? But as a general rule, I don’t think it’s a good idea to put too much stock in anything said in the heat of a break-up—particularly when literal drama is invoked.

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